Why You Still Need Facebook for Your Social Media Plan

Five years ago, you could go up to any twenty year old on the street and ask them what their favorite social media website was and the answer would be Facebook or Twitter. Now there are so many options for social media that the answer could also be Instagram, Snapchat, Vine, Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, and more. This is part of what has caused social media marketing to evolve into the monster it is today, and why many businesses mistakenly believe they should be on all of them.

Via Flickr by Chris Heiler

Via Flickr by Chris Heiler

I feel that social media marketing is currently in a transition limbo. Now is the time where platforms need to be actively making changes that excite and engage users to keep them there. Facebook users themselves aren’t going anywhere. Facebook was an innovator of social media and that place is still respected. Even though there is no shortage of users, businesses are starting to shy away from Facebook and focusing on other platforms.

Many changes can be attributed to this shift. For one, Facebook recently changed their algorithms so content from business pages is hidden from user’s feeds if they do not already actively engage with the brand. This takes a lot more effort and convincing on the business’ part to get their customers to go to their page and like posts. Even when you pay for advertising and get many likes on your page, it is hard to get those people to stay active on your business page.

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

However, just because something is hard doesn’t mean you should quit! Many bloggers are debating the value of Facebook for businesses and convincing them to leave that platform. But I don’t understand the logic in eliminating a huge platform that reaches more REAL people than any other platform. It is true that certain companies do not do well on Facebook, such as B2B businesses. I can understand those companies focusing their social media time in other places. But for the majority of B2C businesses, Facebook is invaluable.

  • On Twitter, you have to scream to get noticed in the slew of the news feed since everyone has hundreds of followers who are Tweeting three times a minute.
  • Instagram is valuable, but not large enough to sustain an entire social media plan.
  • Pinterest is wondrous, possibly the new Facebook for B2C businesses, but currently the majority of the audience only works for certain businesses.
  • Google+ has the potential to be the new Facebook, but we are still a long way off from seeing that.
  • LinkedIn is strictly B2B and is not going to change any time soon. Even with LinkedIn being B2B, it takes more work than Facebook to successfully market on that platform.

These other avenues are extremely valuable to a social media marketing plan, but cannot sustain it. Like it or not, Facebook still needs to be a building block in your marketing. It does take a little more time and effort these days, but it is absolutely possible to make Facebook worth your marketing time. You can look at my numerous other posts for ideas on leveraging Facebook to your advantage and get a better ROI.

What is your opinion on Facebook’s value? Leave a comment or reply to me on Twitter @HS_Writing! To seen an opposing argument against Facebook, check out this post on Social Media Today.

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8 Facebook Marketing Tips for eCommerce Stores

eCommerce stores have been steadily growing in popularity. They are either a standalone online eCommerce store or an extension of a larger company offering specialized products. All marketing experts agree that, when it comes to eCommerce, marketing on Facebook is required for success.

Via Flickr mkhmarketing

Via Flickr mkhmarketing

Owners of eCommerce stores need a solid Facebook marketing strategy to stand out from the other hundreds of competing eCommerce stores in your market niche. Facebook should not be used only as a tool to drive sales, but also as a platform to market and sell products, build brand identity, and interact with customers.

  1. Encourage fans to share your posts. You should constantly be telling fans of your Facebook page to like, comment, and share your posts. Sharing is the best way to get exposure across the internet. Like buttons allow your customers to engage with your posts. When customers like your page, they will be able to see any updates from your page regularly.
  2. Use images in your posts. To get more traffic to your eCommerce site, you need to first find a way to engage customers and build an audience on Facebook. This is best done by incorporating images into your posts. However, putting up any image will not increase comments and likes. Images need to be self-explanatory, meaning you should not have to post more information about the image. When posting product images, it is a good idea to overlay text on the image in order to give it context. The words could be New, In Stock, or Summer Collection.
  3. Host giveaways and contests. Contests and giveaways are a great way to offer package deals, increasing exposure to how great your eCommerce products are. Customers are highly engaged in these strategies since they have the potential to win something. This also increases new customer exposure when customers share the contest on their Facebook to get multiple entries.
  4. Run a caption contest. Caption contests are a very fun way for your Facebook fans to interact with your eCommerce brand. Post a funny or cute picture of something slightly related to the type of products you sell. Ask people to caption the picture with the best caption winning a free item from your retail store.
  5. Give discounts and free shipping that is time sensitive to Facebook fans. Studies have been conducted to find out that 42 percent of people who like an eCommerce Facebook page do so to get coupons or discounts. This makes it important to offer these exclusive discounts to Facebook customers. Making the discounts time sensitive encourages people to take action faster to receive a discount or free shipping. An expiration date on an offer is known as a psychological sales trigger.
  6. Show the benefits of one product over another. Comparing one of your products to the competition’s product is a great way to expose your brand, show your product’s strength, and prove that you are confident in your product. Posting these products really helps engage customers. If you sell clothes, compare it with a similar outfit from a name brand on quality, design, and price. Or, if you have an app for your eCommerce store, ask people to compare the apps on Android, Windows, and iPhone systems.
  7. Make your content diverse and engaging. People only enjoy following Facebook pages that have content that is diverse and different. Do not stick to posting one type of status update. Post pictures, product reviews, discount offers, videos, and more. Always strive for new ways to engage your audience.
  8. Incorporate customer service. Facebook is a great place to interact with your customers, not only for marketing exposure, but also for customer service needs. Consider it the same as the customer service desk at your eCommerce website. It needs to be monitored at all times and any inquiries or complaints need to be answered immediately. Not responding can hurt your reputation.

What are some other great marketing tricks for eCommerce stores? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @HS_Writing!